How WhatsApp Took Its Founders From Food Stamps And Rejection To $19 Billion

Excitement ensued when Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that Facebook was going to buy a rapidly-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion.

WhatsApp/Facebook Deal

Excitement ensued when Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that Facebook was going to buy a rapidly-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion.

The move is of absolutely historic proportions, let there be no doubt about that. After all it’s a marriage of two extremely popular and widely used smartphone services.

However, it’s way more than that.

Here we have compiled a concise list of facts that will help you understand why this is probably one of the biggest deals in the history of social media and technology.

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Members Of WhatsApp:

WhatsApp has more than 450 million active users – reaching that number faster than any other company in history – but the number is growing rapidly as more than a million people are installing the app every single day.

Not ten months ago, WhatsApp announced around 200 million active users, which was already more than Twitter.

And do you know how many people, along with the two founders of course, are responsible for the almost unbelievable feat?

Around 55 employees. No kidding.

The Money Involved:

The incredible $19 billion deal for a staff of 55 people means around $345 million per employee – yes, you read that correctly.

Thinking of applying to Whatsapp now aren’t you?

WhatsApp Is Going To Worth More Than American Airlines:

With $19 billion in its pocket by the end of the year, WhatsApp will worth more than major companies such as American Airlines, Blackstone Group, Macy’s, Marriot International etc. you can view the complete list here and be amazed. 

Both The WhatsApp Founders Were Yahoo! Employees:

Facebook’s arch-enemy has yet another reason to envy the social media company because the WhatsApp founders; Jan Koum and Brian Acton, were previously Yahoo employees.

While Acton inspected Yahoo’s advertising system, Koum got a job as an infrastructure engineer. Both of them apparently got bored eventually and left the company “to decompress, traveling around South America and playing ultimate frisbee.”

One Of The Co-founders Signed The Deal Where He Used To Collect Food Stamps:

One of the men who just struck a deal worth billions of dollars actually lived on food stamps once. Jan Koum came to the U.S. when he was 16 in 1992. His family struggled to make both ends meet initially.

As a tribute to his past struggles, he chose to sign the deal with Facebook outside the same welfare office where he used to stand in a line to get food stamps.

(We won’t judge you if you want to grab a tissue right now.)

The Founders Didn’t Have Wikipedia Pages Before February 20:

Before the Facebook deal, the app was popular but the founders weren’t. Not as much as Zuckerberg or Marissa Mayer or Jack Dorsey.

Koum and Acton didn’t even have proper Wikipedia pages. Tragic isn’t it?

WhatsApp Was Once Part Of Facebook Reject Club:

The following tweet from Brian Acton’s Twitter account (from 2009) says it all:

WhatsApp/Facebook Deal

After leaving Yahoo in 2007 Koum and Acton applied, and failed, to work at Facebook.

“We’re part of the Facebook reject club,” Acton told Forbes in an interview.

Can you believe it?

What do you think about the Facebook/WhatsApp deal? You can share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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